Mile 2598 to 2623
I wake at 2am with a frozen tent. It is so cold I actually wish I had an Ixnay night time bottle. Well perhaps not, but I really do not want to go outside to go outside.
At 5am we get up for good. As I pack up my tent the frost on the outside of the tent combines with the frozen condensation on the inside and creates a giant snowball. I pull the tent back out of the stuff sack, shake it as best I can, leaving a huge pile on the ground. As I pack it back up it seems to have as much or more snow than before. Feeling like Elsa from Frozen – I just need to let it go.
In the cold we hump it up Methow Pass then have a long down. The long down is followed by a long up. It begins to feel a little like the Oregon green tunnels, but with elevation. There is a brief break in the trees and a hint of sun, so we stop and create a yard sale of drying gear. Being able to setup a dry tent tonight will make all the difference.
We continue on over Glacier Pass and Grasshopper Pass on our way towards Harts Pass. We are now running into a lot of day hikers who enthusiastically cheer us on. Kevin continues to find it ridiculous that total strangers congratulate us or tell us how courageous we are. We are just walking after all, not exploring Mars.
We are however running low on water. The last seasonal creeks were dry, so the southbounder who told us he never went more than 7 miles between water in Washington State must have skipped this section. A young couple running their dogs tells us they have a jug of water in their truck at the trailhead parking lot. We trade trail life stories for water, so clearly we get the better of that deal.
At the Harts Pass campground there is a campsite set up for trail magic: US and Canadian flags, tables, chairs, stoves, and offers to cook us hot food. Kevin is more interested in the pit toilet. Our goal is to push on another 3.5 miles while there is still daylight and it is not pouring. If he handed us a hamburger we would take it, but we are not going to wait around while he uncovers the gear and figures out how to start up the stove. We thank him for the offer and move on up the steep grade. Besides, we are already looking forward to our bean burritos.
We finally set up camp, cook as quickly as we can, then retreat to our tents. I struggle to blog with my frozen finger. If I peck the keyboard too hard it feels as though my finger will shatter into a million pieces.